Gov. Rick Perry's former legislative director has a Super PAC to support Perry's run for president, and now there's another such PAC — headed by Perry's former chief of staff, Mike Toomey.
The PAC — "Make Us Great Again" — is backed by Toomey, who's now an Austin lobbyist, and Brint Ryan, head of the Dallas accounting firm Ryan & Co. Ryan is a financial supporter of Perry and other top Republicans in Texas. Super PACs can raise and spend unlimited amounts but must remain independent of any campaigns — they cannot legally coordinate their activities.
Last week, former legislator and Perry aide Dan Shelley announced two political action committees geared to helping the governor win the support of veterans.
In an email sent this morning, Toomey and Ryan urge potential supporters to ignore other independent efforts for Perry in favor of the new organization.
Neither Toomey nor Ryan were immediately available for comment. The committee filed organization papers at the end of July with the Federal Election Commission. The treasurer is Paul Kilgore, a former aide to Newt Gingrich, among others, who now runs a Washington, D.C.-based campaign finance firm called PDS Compliance. In its filing, the PAC says it was not formed solely to support one candidate.
Here's the text of the email from Toomey and Ryan (with phone numbers stripped out):
August 8, 2011
TO: Whom it may concern
FR: Brint Ryan, Mike Toomey
RE: Make Us Great Again and Governor Rick Perry
While Governor Rick Perry has not decided whether or not to run for President of the United States, we are excited that he seriously is considering the race. His record of job creation and fiscal responsibility in Texas is a model for what our nation needs to put our fiscal house in order, rebuild our economy, and create jobs. Clearly, solid leadership is needed in Washington to put America back on the right track.
That’s why we will be supporting “Make Us Great Again”, a newly founded Independent Expenditures Committee, registered with the Federal Election Commission. “Make Us Great Again” is an independent effort focused on helping advance Governor Perry’s agenda and message, as well as promoting the issues of critical importance to America and contrasting Gov. Perry’s record with Obama’s abysmal performance as President.
We have great faith in this effort and the prospect of what it can do to advance meaningful reform. Many other groups are coming forward to draft and support the Governor, and while some of them may be well intentioned, we know that “Make Us Great Again” will be operated by well-respected GOP professionals, recognized as experts in various aspects of political campaigns and communications, and shall adhere to the highest of standards of professionalism, integrity, and transparency. That is why “Make Us Great Again” has earned our faith, trust and support. Our advice is to avoid any other group claiming to be “the” pro-Perry independent effort and, when the timing is right, to support “Make Us Great Again”.
We’ll keep you posted about our efforts to help advance the Governor’s message through “Make Us Great Again,” and we will be back in touch when the time is right for us to join together. In the meantime, please contact Tony Russo or either of us should you have questions or need more information. Our contact info is below:
Together, we can help turn America around by supporting “Make Us Great Again”.
Paid for by Make Us Great Again
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.
c/o 3000 K Street, NW #600, Washington, DC 20007